There was jubilation in Benue state on Wednesday, May 1, as Governor Samuel Ortom said his government had agreed to pay the N30,000 new minimum wage to its workers.
Ortom, who spoke at the 2019 workers day celebration in Makurdi, the capital of the state, said that the government would soon meet with the labour body in the state to look into the implementation of the new minimum wage.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ortom, who was represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, said that workers’ welfare would be his utmost priority in his second tenure as the governor of Benue.
The governor expressed gratitude to workers for returning him for the second time despite the nonpayment of salaries, which almost destroyed his first tenure in office.
“I know that things have been rough for you because of the nonpayment of salaries but you still looked beyond the immediate and returned me back for the second time; I appreciate your gesture,” he said.
The governor promised that he would set machinery in motion to ensure that all arrears of salaries and pensions are paid.
“We are worried that workers are being owed salaries, which has made them to fail in their responsibilities towards their families.
“We are ready to correct the sore mistake of salary arrears in order to leave our footprints on the sand of Benue in 2023,” Ortom said.
The chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Benue chapter, Godwin Anya, had earlier commended the workers in the state for their patience even when they were being owed many months salary arrears.
Anya appealed to Ortom to pay workers their arrears now that he has been returned for a second term, saying that it was one of his campaign promises.